Saturday, December 22, 2012

In B'tselem They Ignore International Law

Miriam Leedor, director of public outreach at "B'Tselem - The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories" (that's Arab human rights), has an op-ed published claiming:-

According to international law, publicly-owned areas in the West Bank also belong to the Palestinian population that resides within them. The West Bank was never annexed to Israel's sovereign territory (such a unilateral annexation would be illegal); it is under Israeli military rule. Military rule means that the state holds the territory only as a trustee. International law clearly determines that Israel can use the territory only to provide for the needs of the local population or to serve its military and security-related needs. Building permanent communities that are populated by Israeli civilians, the advancement of Israeli industrial and tourism projects, exploiting the area's resources (including water) – all of these are forbidden. These resources must be used to serve the needs of the Palestinian population alone.

But there is this in international law:-

The Administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in co-operation with the Jewish agency referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.

Is that a contradiction or is Ms. Leedor not quite knowledgeable enough or is she ignoring something?


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The law of the League of Nations' Palestine Mandate to Britain does not contradict other international law (such as the Geneva Conventions regarding occupied territory of "another signatory state") and yes, B'tslem is mis-interpreting Geneva. Yehuda and Shomron are not "occupied territory" since there was never a "signatory state" of Palestine with sovereignty over that territory. Upon the breakup of the Ottoman Empire after WW One, Britan was given control of the geographic region known as Palestine, in trust, for the purpose of encouraging Jewish immigration to _the_whole_ of that territory in anticipation of eventual creation of a Jewish state. The 1947 UN partition resolution authorized creation of a Jewish state as well as creation of an Arab state, side-by-side in the remaining portion of the British mandate territory (Britain having given away some 70% of their original mandate to create the _first_ Palestinian Arab state, Jordan, long before). Jews accepted the plan, Arabs didn't, and war ensued, with an armistice in 1948 but NO peace treaty, ever, to date. The "green line" is not an internationally recognized border but simply the lines held by the opposing forces when they quit fighting in 1948. Jordan attempted to annex the West Bank in 1949 but few if any nations recognized the legitimacy of such a claim. The Arabs who had never made peace with Israel prepared to re-attack in 1967, and again lost to the defender Israel, losing more territory, including the rest of the original Mandate. Resolution 242 calls for both sides to negotiate final status of the DISPUTED, not occupied, territories and, in the meantime, after the Oslo Accords gave the PA direct autonomy over most of the disputed areas, Israel was granted full zoning and building authority in the Area C parts of the disputed territories over which Israel retained direct authority. That's all, in a nutshell. There's nothing illegal about building houses on unoccupied land whose current legal owner is the State of Israel.